Saturday, February 5, 2011


A photo I took with my 3 mega pixel point-and-shoot camera on Two Lakes in Lake Clark National Park, 2005

A photoshopped version of the same photo in our livingroom

Our waterproof camera on the left and older point-and-shoot on the right
The digital Rebel XSi
 Ryan and I both love to take photos and people often ask us what kind of camera we have. I thought I'd write a post about the evolution of the cameras we have owned. I'm going to skip over the film years and go straight to digital photography. My parents bought me my first digital camera when I was a freshman in college in 2002. It was an Olympus point-and-shoot camera, 3 mega pixels, that weighed about 3 lbs. Okay, it wasn't really 3 pounds, but it was heavy because it took FOUR double A batteries. It may have been a total dinosaur when it comes to digital cameras, but it was one tough camera and it took some amazing photos in its day. That camera survived three years of college, four summers of hiking in the backcountry and digging in the dirt, not to mention numerous tumbles at the hands of my clumsiness. I specifically recall dropping it off the top of the bleachers at a middle school gym once while watching my brother's wresting meet. Besides a little dent, it was fine. I think my favorite photo I have ever taken was with that 3 mega pixel camera (top photo). I took that photo of Two Lakes in Lake Clark National Park in August 2005 when I was working on an archaeological survey. When we moved into our house two years ago, I wanted that photo to be the main piece of decoration in our livingroom. At 3 mega pixels though, there was not a lot of potential to turn it into a large print...until Ryan photoshopped it to look like a watercolor. We had it printed in a 20 x 30 and you cannot tell that it is pixelated. I wish I still had that old camera, but we threw it away last time we moved. It still worked, we had just upgraded to more mega pixels. It would have been funny to keep it around to remind ourselves that you don't always need 12 mega pixels to take a good photo.

In 2006 we bought a newer Olympus point-and-shoot (third photo, camera on right). It had more mega pixels than my first camera and it probably took faster photos, but I never really liked it much. Last year we bought a used waterproof (to 30') and shockproof (to 6') point-and-shoot Olympus (12 mega pixels). It's a pretty awesome camera. We put a lot of wear and tear on our cameras, bringing them to archaeological digs and all, but we also wanted to have one we could use while snorkeling and swimming. Probably also a good idea since Ryan works on boats. We also own the floaty attachment so that if you DROP it in the water, it won't sink. =)

A couple of years ago we also bought a used digital SLR camera, a Cannon Rebel XSi, 12 mega pixels. We initially bought a telephoto lens to go with it, but also bought a wide angle lens this summer. This is also an awesome camera. It's not very heavy for its size either. I love, love, love this camera but it is not any everyday, everywhere camera. We often leave it at home for several reasons, including: weight, bulk, potential of being stolen if we have to leave it in a car, sketchy 3rd world-country hostel, sketchy 3rd world country beach, etc., and the potential that it might get dirty or wet (which includes pretty much any work I do). When we do have the opportunity to use it though, we are always happy.

I'm sure soon enough our digital Rebel will be a dinosaur. Maybe this time I should hang onto our old cameras so our future children can make fun of us for using a camera that's not also a phone/computer/spaceship or other futuristic device.


  1. GREAT POST I'm sort of bummed about my latest and greatest waterproof camera. Looking through old photographs I realized my older, less mega pixels, camera took way better photographs. I too recently bought a high end SLR but I still mostly use the point and shoot that is always in my pocket (even if I am not happy with its picture quality). Also at the Settlement Point dig I once dropped my Pentax K 1000 film camera from the very top of a spruce tree. It fell 60 feet or so and the back opened up and exposed the film, but no problem the camera was fine.


  2. Wow, that's pretty awesome that your camera survived falling out a tree!